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Ecstatic Music Festival: Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. & Imani Uzuri with Numinous

Saturday | March 16 2013 | 6:30 pm

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The stunning vocalist and globally-inspired composer Imani Uzuri teams up with composer and Numinous ensemble founder Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. to perform new works commissioned for this year’s festival. Phillips’s genre-defying “mixed music” draws inspiration from contemporary classical, jazz, world and popular music, and has been called “stylish and provocative (All Music Guide), “luminous…shimmering” (One Final Note) and praised for inspiring a “sense of wonder” (Audiophile Audition). “With a voice that would sound equally at home on an opera stage or a disco 12-inch," says the Village Voice, “Imani Uzuri is a constant surprise...seamlessly combining jazz, classical, country and blues motifs into highly personalized compositions.” Her new album, The Gypsy Diaries, draws on her rural Southern roots as well as influences ranging from Sufi devotionals to Romany laments. “Uzuri never fails to mesmerize audiences with her narcotic blend of...ethereal sounds” (Time Out New York).

Uzuri will premiere an original multi-voice and multi-instrument musical suite, Placeless, performed by Numinous and special guests, exploring the expansive themes of home and “place” inspired by the Psalms, the writings of Sufi mystic and poet Rumi and the folk hymnody African-American Spirituals.

Numinous will also premiere Changing Same, a six-movement composition by Phillips that musically reflects a liberating pursuit of individuality where contemporary classical music melds with Prince, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Chuck Brown, Barry White and Gamble and Huff to create an evocative, intimate and affirming musical and cultural "memory book." The composition will be recorded in the spring of 2013, with plans to be released on New Amsterdam Records. In addition, Numinous will perform a short new collaborative five-movement composition by Uzuri and Phillips inspired by universal themes of awe and humility.

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